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39 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Year Alsace granted AC status?
Grand Cru system introduced in Alsace?
• 1975: Grand Cru system introduced. The first 25 Grand Crus, however, were not listed until 1983. In 1986, that number was increased to 48, and now there are 50.
Alsace climate overview?
Protected from Atlantic influence by Vosges Mountains (Rainshadow Effect). Bordered by Rhine River to the east. Warm dry summers, and long, dry autumns. Long, cool growing season with extended sunshine, especially on hillsides. Best vineyards tend to have a south or southeastern exposure. Average rainfall is among the lowest in France. Drought can be a problem. Autumn humidity for Vendage Tardive wines.
Vine training in Alsace?
•Vines are trained to follow the contours of the slopes on steeper sites. Terracing practiced on steepest sites.
•Usually single or double Guyot. Also, some cordon-trained vines with spur pruning on older vines.
Allowed yields for Alsace AC and Alsace Grand Cru AC?
High max yields:
Alsace AC- 80 hl/ha regular Alsace Grand Cru AC- 66 hl/ha – 55 hl base plus 11 hl PLC.

These are the highest in France.
Allowed Grand Cru varietals in Alsace?
Riesling, Tokay-Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat (Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains, Muscat Ottonel).
Less important, non-Grand Cru-allowed Alsace varietals?
Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc (aka Clevner or Klevner), Pinot Noir, and to a lesser extent Klevener de Heiligenstein (Savagnin Rosé), Chasselas (aka Gutedel), and Auxerrois. Chardonnay is not officially permitted, but is tolerated, especially when mislabeled as Pinot Blanc or used in Crémant d’Alsace.
What kind of pressing is generally done for Alsace wines? Is chaptalization allowed? In what does fermentation usually take place?
•Gentle pressing using a Wilmes pneumatic press.
•Chaptalization is common, but is not allowed in late harvest-style wines.
•Traditional fermentation takes place in large, tartrate-encrusted casks in cool cellars. The use of stainless steel is very common. Use of barriques is extremely uncommon. Inox = stainless vats; Foudres = large, tartrate encrusted oak barrels of varying size.
What are the three Alsace ACs?
Alsace AC: 80% of production
Alsace Grand Cru: 4% of production
Crémant d’Alsace: 16% of production.

In Alsace wines are almost entirely AC, and account for 20% of France’s AC still white wine total.
What departements make up Alsace? How is the country divided geographically amongst these?
Haut-Rhin and the Bas-Rhin.

• The plain is that of the Rhine Valley, together with its tributaries, chief of which is the River Ill. Fertile land unsuitable for the vine.
• Bas-Rhin: Northern end, slightly cooler and wetter, with less protection afforded by the Vosges. Lower proportions of the high-quality grapes are planted here. Individual vineyard sites are extremely important here to ensure full ripeness.
• Haut-Rhin: Southern (and better) section. Most of the producers are located here.
Crémant d’Alsace AC
Use of Méthode Traditionelle with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Auxerrois, and the only permitted use of Chardonnay in an AC Alsace wine. Minimum of 9 months sur lie. Only Pinot Noir allowed for rosé.
Alsace AC
Min alc 8.5º. 80 hl/ha. Riesling, Tokay-Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat. Others include Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and to a lesser extent Klevener, Chasselas, and Auxerrois.
Alsace Grand Cru AC
Only Grand Cru varietals. 66 hl/ha. The Grand Cru system has been rejected by some landholders in Grand Cru sites. Terms such as ‘Réserve Personelle’ and ‘Cuvée Tradition’ are often used for wines produced from these sites. Schlossberg was the first Grand Cru.
Alsace Klevener de Heiligenstein AC
A wine made from a strain of Savagnin Rosé, a native Jura grape. This is the only village appellation, and the only grape confined by law to a village.
Vendages Tardives
○Muscat, Riesling: Min 220 g/l sugar
○Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer: Min 243 g/l sugar.

Chaptalization is forbidden. Can be dry or medium sweet. Intention to make this wine must be declared in advance and supervised by the authorities. Only from the big 4 grapes. Far less consistent than SGN wines, as some producers just make wines with grapes of the correct minimum sugar levels, instead of actually harvesting them later than other grapes.
Seléction des Grains Nobles
○Muscat, Riesling: Min 256 g/l sugar.
○Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer: Min 279 g/l sugar.

Even higher natural must weights. Almost always botrytis-influenced. Only produced in exceptional years. Very sweet, with minimum R.S. levels. Intention to make this wine must be declared in advance and supervised by the authorities. Same rules as Vendages Tardives (e.g. chaptalization is forbidden), but with stricter regulations and higher minimums.
Alsace. “Noble Blend”. Reserved for wines blended from two or more of the authorized grape varieties.
Gestion Locale
Alsace. Local control committees. Can require lower yields, higher alcohol, etc. for their particular region vs. AC Alsace. Cannot, however, enact lower quality standards than AC Alsace, e.g. higher yields, lower alcohol, etc.
Alsace Eaux-de-Vie
Pear – Poire; Cherry – Kirsch; Yellow Plum – Mirabelle; Spruce Needles – Sapin; Holly Berries – Baie de Houx.
Is the term "Tokay" allowed on Alsace labels?
The term ‘Tokay’ can no longer be used as of January 1st, 2007.
La Lorraine
A satellite of Alsace. There is one AC wine and one VDQS wine.

• Côtes du Toul AC: R/W/Rosé
Reds- Pinot Noir
Whites- Auxerrois, Aubin
Rosé- Max 85% Gamay and Pinot Noir, min 10% Pinot Noir; Auxerrois, Aubin, Pinot Meunier max 15%

• Moselle VDQS: R/W/Rosé-
Auxerrois, Gamay, Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Riesling, plus a max 30% Gamay. No restrictions on variety to type (R/W/Rosé).
Altenberg de Bergheim
Alsace Grand Cru.
(Bergheim) A true grand cru since the 12th century. Calcareous clay soil. Best for Gewurztraminer. Also allows a blend of grapes for grand cru status.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Turckheim)
One of the best sites. Really of vast collection of individual lieux-dits. Great Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Eguisheim)
Very aromatic wines of exceptional delicacy and great longevity. Famous for Gewurztraminer (potentially the best in Alsace); Riesling and Pinot Gris are also superb.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Ribeauvillé)
Excellent Riesling. Trimbach owns vines here, and in a contiguous plot with vines in Osterberg, the whole of which produces the superb Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Émile.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Wintzenheim)
Very ‘flexible’ cru. Hengst Gewurztraminer is a special, complex wine. Top-quality Muscat, Riesling, and Pinot Gris are also produced.
(Andlau) [BAS-RHIN]
True grand cru. One of the oldest vineyards in Alsace. Very steep, schistous terroir. Racy and delicate Riesling.
Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé
Famous for Riesling, which is typically fully dry, long-lived, and with a distinct petrol nose.
Stoney clay soils. Superb Riesling. Contiguous plot to Geisberg.
(Thann and Vieux-Thann)
So steep it must be terraced. Volcanic soil is very poor organically, but extremely rich in minerals and has great drainage. The dark soils also retain heat well in this sun trap. Famous for powerful and pungent wines. Produces great wines in even the poorest years. A true grand cru.
Home to Trimbach’s Clos Ste. Hune Riesling. Much of the cru should not be classified as ‘grand’, but certain parts definitely are. The marly-clay soils are rich in magnesium.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Kientzheim and Kayserberg)
The first Alsace grand cru (1975). Best for Riesling, but Gewurztraminer can be great in ‘off’ vintages.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Riquewihr)
Reputation for great Riesling and Muscat, but also very good Pinot Gris. Gypsum-permeated, marl-and-sand soils producing rich aromatic wines with a great potential for VT and SGN wines.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Riquewihr)
One of the truly great grand crus. Stony, clay-marl soils. Wines have remarkable finesse. Historically famous for Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, but also has a tradition of field blends (the most famous of which is Hugel’s Sporen Gentil, which is capable of aging 30 years or more).
Alsace Grand Cru. (Marlenheim) [BAS-RHIN]
Reputation for Pinot Noir. Local growers are trying to have Pinot Noir recognized for grand cru status.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Rouffach and Westhalten)
All four grand cru varietals excel. Riesling and Pinot Gris are best. Calcareous sandstone terroir. Excellent exposure, and consequently makes great Pinot Noir as well.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Mittelbergheim)
Calcareous clay soils. Historically the finest site for Sylvaner, and is the first grand cru to be recognized for a non-‘big four’ grand cru.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Ammerschwihr)
Just made a grand cru in 2007, this is one of the greatest Alsace Grand Crus. Not geologically uniform, and best known for its blends.
Alsace Grand Cru. (Ingersheim and Katzenthal)
Excellent microclimate producing stunning Riesling and Gewurztraminer.